October 17, 2018 / 3:22 PM / 4 months ago

Italian court grants Astaldi's request for creditor protection-sources

ROME (Reuters) - A court in Rome has accepted a filing by troubled Italian builder Astaldi for protection from creditors, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Astaldi, hit by delays to plans to sell a bridge in Turkey, filed for court protection from creditors in September to allow it to continue business while restructuring its debt.

“A few minutes ago the court told the company that it had accepted its request,” one of the sources said.

The company had no immediate comment to make on the matter.

Shares in Astaldi were down 4.2 percent in volatile trade at 1443 GMT, underperforming a 1.4 percent fall in Milan’s all-share index.

Astaldi, one of Italy’s leading contractors with more than 10,500 employees, had been hoping to sell its 33.3 percent stake in the Third Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey to boost liquidity and reduce debt, which stood at 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) at the end of June.

But political turmoil in Turkey and a plunge in the currency led to delays to the sale, which had been was one of the conditions for launching a cash call of up to 300 million euros.

Following Wednesday’s decision, Astaldi has up to 120 days to present a new business plan to the court.

Reporting by Domenico Lusi and Stefano Bernabei; Writing by Francesca Landini and Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Jan Harvey

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